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Carbon Motors E7  (Source: Carbon Motors)
Please sir, may we have $300 million?

The push to move the U.S. to newer technology cars and trucks that are more efficient in fuel consumption and produce fewer emissions is focused heavily on the consumer segment of the industry. In many areas, some of the most fuel consuming and polluting fleets are those for public service workers like law enforcement. 
A company called Carbon Motors is soliciting the government for a loan to help it produce the first vehicle in the country specifically designed for police officers. In a letter to the members of President Obama's cabinet, the company outlines its need for a $300 million loan.
The letter reads in part:
Over two years ago, Carbon Motors filed an application for a loan of over $300 million with the Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program. The ATVM direct loan program was established in a bi-partisan manner by the Bush Administration and has been carried on by the Obama Administration.
We have secured a mothballed automotive facility located in a town with unemployment at rates significantly higher than the national average – Connersville, Indiana – a victim of the fallout of automotive industry at the end of the last decade. With the ongoing criticisms aired concerning the U.S. Department of Energy's loan guarantee programs and the ATVM direct loan program, our country faces a critical decision now that will have significant impact on our first responders, taxpayers, environment, highways, our manufacturing employment base and the security of our homeland.
Carbon Motors is seeking the funds in order to produce its E7 police vehicle. The car is designed to be functional, safe, and fuel-efficient. The car has a turbodiesel engine with 300hp and 420 lb-ft of torque and is specified for a durability span of 250,000 miles. The cockpit of the car is ergonomically designed for comfort and to fit all the duty gear an officer needs for the day. The car has a radiation-, chemical-, and biological-threat detection capabilities.
The E7 also steps up monitoring capabilities by including a 360-degree exterior surveillance for audio and video. The car is also designed with 180-degree interior rear compartment audio and video recording for the rear compartment of the vehicle. The car can be had with an optional license plate detection system and optional integrated ballistic protection.
The company claims the car will be safer for police officers, produce less pollution, and save money on fuel as well. Carbon Motors is likely seeing delays in a verdict on its loan application due to the third-party review process that green government auto firms are going through.

Source: Carbon Motors

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RE: Are people waiting for this?
By geddarkstorm on 12/19/2011 3:47:33 PM , Rating: 4
No matter how much we may disagree with the policies and directives that the overseers of the police force are giving our guys in blue, we should never disrespect the officers themselves on principle. They do such a valuable, and dangerously hard job for us. Can you imagine working day in and day out, rounding up dangerous people, rushing straight into spots of unknown threat?

I live in a place where the only thing keeping the populous from consuming itself in anarchy is our police force. I have nothing but complete respect for the daily lives and duty of our officers.

If we want to fight the oppressive nature of our growing police state, we have to take on the policy makers and legislatures that are behind it all; not our officers who are just doing their job and what they are ordered.

So, with that said, I'd love to see their lives made easier and efficiency increased with a vehicle like this. Officers are more than worth it.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/19/2011 5:13:06 PM , Rating: 1
Where did you see me disrespecting officers in that post? You're projecting a bunch of stuff on me that I never said or even implied.

So, with that said, I'd love to see their lives made easier and efficiency increased with a vehicle like this. Officers are more than worth it.

That's fine, I have no problem with that. The issue is requesting federal money to bring a product to the market. If it's such an obvious winner in this segment, they should be able to do it with private sector loans or investment capital.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By geddarkstorm on 12/20/2011 3:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
On the contrary, you did fully imply it when you said "further funding the oppressive police state". How can an improved vehicle add to an "oppressive police state"? The oppressive or "police state" nature of our society can only be achieved through terrible laws and ordinances, not through the actual gear our officers have. The implication that giving them better gear funds oppressiveness is a slight against the officers themselves. Even if you didn't mean it that way, as I'm sure you didn't, that is the direct implication, so I just clarified it.

The police are a public service run by the public. Why would vehicles suited solely for them have to be privately made and profitable? Especially if by "profitable" they are still just making their money from the police and thus still from public funds all the same? Doesn't that strike you as silly?

Simply roll it into the police budge and call it good, if there is room in the budget, and if the public wishes to give more funding. But it is ridiculous in my view to say it must be via the private sector, when it's all going to be paid for by public funds in the end anyways. The police force isn't a market, and previous vehicles were just customized off of production models for the general populous. This is a vehicle made specifically for police first: though, it looks sweet and could be retrofitted for the general public, and thus could actually make the public money in a private way through that.

It's all a matter of how much we wish to fund and equip our police force, but this is one matter I feel which should not be dragged into the "public versus private" funding debate that is important for other spurious, even dubious, government endeavors.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By tng on 12/20/2011 4:43:07 PM , Rating: 3
How can an improved vehicle add to an "oppressive police state"?
Well, for instance, since it records what goes on in the back seat, if you mumble something and the mike and camera pick it up, then they can use this in court, no matter how it was meant at the time.

I don't know if cop cars now have this capability, but I could go on about how the specifics of this car could be used to suppress your rights.

RC77 comes from the camp that says if they have a tool that can be used against you, eventually they will. Can't say that I disagree with him there, do you trust politicians? For the most part the police are controlled by politicians.

Or maybe I am just paranoid...

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By TSS on 12/19/2011 7:30:37 PM , Rating: 1
I live in a place where there's only a 4% chance that when you steal something, you will get caught. The police force is used almost exclusively to write tickets for speeding, alcohol controls and whatnot. The only reason we haven't decended into anarchy is because we police ourselves.

It's not just the people that set policy. Officers are people too. You always have the option to refuse. Yes, there's a danger of getting fired. Unless you stand united and everybody refuses to play ball as long as the ball doesn't make sense.

They are supposed to serve and protect the people. Instead they have become nothing more then tax collecters. I will not respect that. And to all who say "well if you are fined then you must've broken the law" i say, "the law is not an absolute". It is something to be reviewed on a case by case basis. If it was, we might as well merge cases together of crimes that fall in the same catagory and just judge en masse. Maybe then trials will take months instead of decades.

There are good police forces out there. But they do not deserve your respect just because they put themselves "in the path of danger". They deserve respect when they serve the people.

RE: Are people waiting for this?
By robywire on 12/19/2011 11:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Let me rephrase that for you.

....I'd love to see their lives made easier and efficiency increased with a vehicle like this. Officers are more than worth it.

I'd love to see their lives made easier and efficiency increased with a vehicle like this, even if there is no indication that there will be any increase in efficiency or ease. It doesn't matter what it costs, Officers are more than worth it. And besides, it would make me feel better if I could do this for them with other peoples money.

By geddarkstorm on 12/20/2011 2:54:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hate to break it to you, but the police force is always paid for by my and other people's money. As it should be. There are some services for the public that must be maintained by the public.

And the money asked to bring these vehicles to market is nothing compared to the vast majority of other government projects and fundings which have little to no direct impact or public good. Looking at the list of features for this vehicle, it's obvious it will, if it lives up to it all, have a good impact for the public good, through the police force.

Don't let your pendulum swing too far to the other side. Craziness is the same on either end of the spectrum.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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